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Standards-Based Grading

What is Standards-Based Grading?

Standards-Based Grading (SBG) is a set of teaching and reporting practices that communicate how a student is performing against a predetermined set of expectations. SBG reports achievement on each standard separately instead of combining them like in traditional systems.


SBG also separates out behaviors such as effort, attendance, participation, timeliness, cooperation, and attitude, in an attempt to give the clearest picture of student learning possible.


Grading and Reporting  - Shared Belief System

Orland School District 135 has a belief system about the purpose of grades, students, and learning that compels us to move beyond the traditional, single letter grade system. A shared set of beliefs about the purposes of grades guide this work:

Why do we use report cards and assign grades to student work?

  • Communicate information about strengths/weaknesses so students/teachers/parents understand student progress.

  • To assess the mastery of skills and standards within a subject matter.

  • To provide feedback and to show growth, mastery, or lack thereof.

  • To identify skills mastered and skills that continue to need work

  • To monitor student progress

  • Feedback on student achievement

For Whom is the information intended?

  • Students

  • Teachers

  • Parents

  • Administrators

  • High Schools

What are the desired results from report cards and assigning grades to student work?

  • To know areas of need and guide instruction, student learning

  • To access student's mastery of skills

  • Informs teachers for planning and instruction.  More accurate picture of student learning/understanding.

  • To keep parents informed as to what is happening in the classroom and to provide feedback to students

  • An accurate and consistent evaluation of student learning

What information should be communicated on report cards?

  • Visible learning

  • Academics - more specific about growth and strengths

  • Whether or not the standards are being met

  • What can parents do to support growth

  • Academic information, non-academic observations (behaviors, social and emotional status, participation, etc.)

Adjusting Learning Targets

Fewer learning targets on the report card will allow for more efficient grading and easier reading.

No More Trend Grading

Weighted averaging will more closely resemble traditional averaging but still allow students to recover from mistakes and reflect growth through teaching and learning.


Students may receive zeros for not submitting assignments, or participating in assignments, which may impact the academic grade.


Homework will be reflected as a separate grade in the behavior category. A score of a '1' in homework may impact Junior High eligibility.

Ongoing Grading Throughout Trimesters

Students will still receive final trimester grades, however, grade calculations will run through trimesters to reflect ongoing teaching and learning that is continuous through trimesters.